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teignbee 

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Im in a real panic, i have just been up to my site to check every thing is in order for my new bees, and i have seen a huge badger hole right next to the hive stands that i have made. Is this going to be a problem for me? Please, any advice would be really appreciated.
 

Hombre 

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I may be wrong - A while ago I was shown some scratch marks on the front of a polyhive. They were described as badger scratches. When asked why a badger hadn't taken the hive apart, because they obviously have the strength to do so, I was told that they had obviously been stung and decided not to fool around.

I believe that those hives at risk need to be firmly strapped together to prevent them being toppled and coming apart. I trust that your hive-stands are sufficiently secure.

So that's two conflicting opinions. What do the experienced members think?
 
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hedgerow pete 

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a badger will rip a hive apart to get at the grubs no problem at all as for the stings well they will easiely take several hundred, it is well documented that foxes and badgers will gaurd a wasp nest ( normaly wasps are ground based nests) from other creatures untill the time is ready normaly when its at its largest august time so to eat the grubs what the general plan is rip the hive apart and run away, then come back a hour or two later by this time most of the wasps are out looking for a new hive and forming a ball in a tree. Most people think badger are cute and bimble around but they can be more described as a rotwieler they will have a go at anything the have very powerfull jaws and sharp teeth and claws that will easily rip a wbc apart inner and outer,

your best form of protection is a single wire electric fence about 9 inchs off the floor turn it on for a week and they soon learn to leave it alone,

But do not fill the hole in, do not do any thing in any shape or form that will cause harm to thier burrows as that is a hanging offence in england, there are to many rose tinted muppets making laws that think badgers are cute and fluffy. in fact i would consider moving the whole apiary away from them and starting a few yards away with a sheep fence around the hives
 

Brosville 

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I can't understand the animosity towards a wonderful native animal -
this rose-tinted muppet takes a totally different view, having lived alongside several badgers for many years. Like all animals they need understanding and respecting - for a start, they have probably been here a lot longer than we have - often setts have been in the same place for hundreds of years!
They have powerful claws, which they use for digging - a JCB can be dangerous, but is actually built for digging holes, as are badgers. They have brilliant hearing and noses, their eyesite is generally poor, and have a disconcerting habit of going from A to B by their own route, come what may........this often results in large holes in hedges, and their getting hit by cars.
My hives are a few feet from a long established badger run (complete with large hole in hedge) - hives have been kept on this site historically for nearly a hundred years without problems, and in the adjoining fields. I'd concur that probably the best way to ensure they stay away from hives is to go the electric fence route, but personally don't feel the need.
 

Geoff 

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Badgers are superb at digging out things whether it be bumble bees, wasp nests or rabbit breeding burrows. I don't think a few stings is going to bother them when you feel their fur. To compare them to a rottweiler is just plain silly. They are not like attack dogs, they are very gentle creatures who do bumble about minding their own business. i have never seen any serious squabbling among them , their society seems relatively calm and peaceful. However they are armed with ferocious claws and jaws and like any animal if cornered will fight and can inflict terrible injuries on any dog foolish enough to follow through an attack.
i have been fortunate enough to be within 3 feet of a full grown boar badger that was completely wild and they are big. He had reared up to scratch a tree, behind which I was hiding. His head came round and then he sensed me. They did not have that much human interaction in that area and he just snorted and calmly got down and ambled off on his evening perambulation. It felt a real honour to have such close contact with a wild creature that did not cause it to run off in panic.
As for the hole by the hives if the badgers are living there and you should have noticed cause they make huge mounds of earth when they make their setts, have latrines and scratching posts. It would be unwise to locate there. At the very least they might consider your hives a suitable scratching post. As somebody has said the setts will have been there for many years.
Is the hole where they have dug something out? In which case it is less to worry about. Signs of badger feeding activity are shallow scratches on grass where they have been hunting earthworms (they made a mess of my lawn one year) and shallow scoops in bluebell colonies ( they love the bulbs).
I think I must be a rose tinted muppet. I remember when it was legal to dig out badgers and set dogs on them. I would rather be a muppet then a barbarian :)
 

JCBrum 

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Rotwielers are not attack dogs unless trained that way by their owners. They are very friendly and playful. They are very powerful with dangerous bits, but so are horses. I'm sure badgers have their endearing characteristics but raiding hives is as big a nuisance from them as any other animal, (inc humans).

p.s. I have an acquaintance who is from Nigeria. He is convinced that if he goes anywhere near bees they will swarm all over him and kill him. He makes me laugh.

JC.
 
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teignbee 

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I have decided to go down the electric fencing route. Could any body tell me the minimum type of energiser i could use? The site is only small,approx 25 ftx15ft.
I have included a shot of the intended apiary. The new hole is behind the hives near the straw,cant see it in this picture as it was taken a week ago.
 

hedgerow pete 

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easy its the cheapest one you can buy, i have seen the ones that use 4 d cell batteries for around £49, or ask around for the sake of an old car battery some farmers have one rotting in a shed somewhere, all you have to do is stick the wire supports to your wooden fence posts, as for the setting use the lowest one going they are very quick learners
 

Geoff 

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Nice site for an apiary. The sort of place you could spend hours just watching the bees. I would have thought you would need the sort of kit they use for protecting hens. Was the badger digging under the fence?
I would have a good look inside that clump of bushes to see if there are any other holes, where they might live. The fence looks new and if you put it across a badger run they just dig under. Badgers are very much creatures of habit and are difficult to keep out once it is their routine.
If I am right and it is simply a run that you have obstructed then it might be easier to move the hives to a different part of your enclosure,even fencing it off from where the badgers routinely walk.
Trouble with putting up a barrier of any sort is they just dig under. I came across a farmer who put up a wire fence to keep them out of maize. The badgers just dug back way from the fence and when they came up in the crop it looked like the construction of the channel tunnel - you can imagine the mess it made. To rub salt in the wound when he drove down to inspect his tractor fell through the roof of the tunnel and got stuck. They really tested his patience that time.
I was not criticising Rotties but the way the word was used. JC Brun I agree with everything you say about them. I used to have a PAT dog (Pets as Therapy) and came across two Rotties that used to go visiting hospitals. I myself now own a GSD, another breed that is maligned but not as much as Rotties. Unfortunately Rotties attract some people who shouldn't be entrusted with a goldfish.
 

marklaverda 

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In the picture I personally would have faced the entrances towards the prevailing sunshine. I have one of my hives actually in woodland and it produces about 2/3rds of honey made in my other hives in sunnier locations.
In this woodland we have several badgers in a sett, about 100 yards away. They have never created any problems whatsoever, but woodpeckers have had a go at pecking through the hives, and their damage is evident.
 

teignbee 

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The hives are facing south easterly. The sun gets to them around 9,9.30 am.
Had another slight set back today regarding collecting my bees,there is a problem with the queens at the moment so will have to wait a bit longer.
I have,today,put a couple of frames of foundation in the hives with a few drops of lemongrass oil,never know,might attract a swarm.
I dont know if there is anybody in the newton abbot area of Devon who might be able to help me get started,maybe with a swarm?,if there is, i would really be interested.
 

Floyd 

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I may be missing the point but you have a site with no bees which you feel is a problem. It looks like you have invested a lot of time and energy on the fence.

Surely it would be easier to move the site before you have bees because if your worries become true it will be a lot harder for you to relocate your bees.

However you fencing skills are better than mine
 

teignbee 

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I have had a commercial beekeeper came to the site today. The beekeeper has had a look for me and sees no problems with the badgers. We are putting up a 3 wire electric fence,just to be on the safe side,so that should sort out any problems that could possably occur.
As to moving the site, although the apiary is located in a fields,im sure you will appreciate its not always easy and possable to take over another part of of somebody elses land after they kindly allowed me to set up there in the first place.
 

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